When Mia Chloe, a young Australian woman residing in the U.S., recently took to social media to denigrate her host, she likely didn’t anticipate her views about American patriotism to garner a swift and succinct reply from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R). In a video, Chloe highlighted what she viewed as an excess of American flags in various settings.
“I’m just gonna say it; there are too many American flags,” Chloe proclaimed, referencing their omnipresence on houses, cars, and even couch cushions. Comparing this to her homeland, she added, “The only time I think I’ve ever seen an Australian flag is on the Harbour Bridge. I think I could draw the American flag from memory, like I think I can make a bloody sculpture out of it. That’s how many times I’ve seen it.”
Go back to Australia.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 14, 2023
Chloe’s sentiment seemed to suggest Americans might do well to exhibit a tad more humility regarding patriotic displays. “Let’s pull back on it, okay? Let’s stay humble,” she concluded.
However, Governor Abbott wasn’t having it. Responding to Chloe’s remarks in a post on the X platform, formerly Twitter, he tersely advised her: “Go back to Australia.”
While Chloe may have been taken aback by the patriotic zeal that permeates American life, it’s noteworthy to consider the origins of many of these flags. According to the Flag Manufacturers Association of America (FMAA), 94% of American flags are manufactured here in the U.S. The association emphasizes the importance of domestic manufacturing for these symbols of national pride, lending a “Certified Made in the U.S.A.” seal to wholly American-made flags.
This domestic focus on flag production even garnered legislative attention recently. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), along with fellow Republicans and even some Democrats, introduced legislation to mandate that American flags displayed on federal property or procured by federal agencies be entirely manufactured in the U.S. from American materials. Cruz poignantly remarked, “The American flag is a symbol of freedom and hope for Texans, Americans, and the world. We should be making our flags in the Land of the Free.”
Reactions on X were decidedly mixed in the wake of the video’s spread. The video, reposted by a prominent right-leaning account, saw Americans vowing to display even more flags. One insightful comment highlighted the difference between American and Australian pride, noting, “People wearing the college teams or the high school mascot shirts. Being proud of your town, your organizations, your church, your clubs – doesn’t exist in Australia.”
Patriotism, it seems, manifests differently across cultures. While Mia Chloe’s critique of American flag displays sheds light on this variance, it also underscores the deeply ingrained sense of national pride that’s uniquely and unapologetically American.